Retailers agreed to freeze prices for some products

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According to the media, the Association of Retail Trade Companies suggested FAS freezing the prices for socially important products; when the draft agreement is approved prices will frozen for two months

The largest retailers of the Association of Retail Trade Companies which includes "Magnet", X5 Retail Group, "Auchan", "Dixy" and Metro Cash & Carry have agreed to work together on controlling the growth of prices and the pressure of officials.

According to "Vedomosti", AKORT has submitted a draft agreement which establishes frozen retail prices for socially important products to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Once FAS approves the agreement, prices will be frozen for two months.

According to the Deputy Head of FAS Andrey Kashevarov, FAS has a positive attitude to the initiative of AKORT.

It is noted that the draft agreement doesn`t specify the list of products the prices for which will be frozen. "Retailers will make up the basket themselves basing on the list of socially important goods", - said an employee of one of the retailer companies to "Vedomosti".

Price freezing has been previously been announced by some members of the Association: "Dixy", Metro Cash & Carry, "O`Key". In particular, on February 9 "Dixy" announced a month-long freezing of prices for basic products in neighborhood stores. Frozen price basket includes buckwheat, rice, millet, pasta, sunflower oil and butter, flour, dumplings, frozen fish.

In addition, the company has guaranteed to preserve the minimal trade margin from 0 to 15% on some of the most popular products. "Dixy" stores have moratorium on raising margins on several types of sugar, salt, cereals, butter, flour and eggs.

The rise in prices after restrictions on import of certain types of food in August and the devaluation of the ruble led to the increased attention of the authorities to retailers: there were calls for regulating prices and margins, the prosecution service began to check stores. For example, at the end of January Moscow Prosecution Service announced that they had found overpricing two or more times in many big retail chains: "economically unreasonable trade margins on certain types of food products" have been discovered in such stores as "Azbuka vkusa", "Perekrestok", "Magnoliya", "Dixy", "Magnit", "Billa" and "Spar".

The Association of Retail Trade Companies brings together 37 companies including "Azbuka vkusa", "Atak" and "Auchan" which are part of the Auchan group, "Billa", "Vester", " Giperglobus" (belonging to German Globus chain), "Dixy," "Lenta", Metro Cash & Carry (part of German Metro Group),"O` Key", X5 Retail Group,"Magnet","M.Video"(MOEX: MVID).

Text and pictures by INTERFAX.RU